S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is seriously considering appointing former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster to the U.S. Senate as a “caretaker” for the seat over the next two years, sources tell FITS.

Haley has until January to appoint an interim replacement for U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint – who is resigning his seat to take over as the leader of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank.  A special election to fill the remainder of DeMint’s term will be held in 2014, while the seat is up for grabs in 2016 for a full six-year term.

In addition to considering herself and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott for the post, Haley’s office is reportedly “floating idea of Henry McMaster as a caretaker appointee,” one of our sources says.  Under such an arrangement, McMaster – the quintessential establishment Republican – would agree to serve only until the voters of South Carolina elected a new Senator in a special election in 2014.

“As you know, (appointing McMaster) would be antithetical to what DeMint has stood for in taking on the establishment,” the source said.

That’s true …

After serving eight years as S.C. Attorney General, McMaster was hired as a fundraiser for the University of South Carolina law school last year.  The thick-drawled “Republican” finished third in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary behind Haley and U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett –  later endorsing Haley’s bid.

Widely regarded for his intellectual incuriosity, McMaster is also known for his membership at the same “whites only” country club that dragged down former SCGOP chairman Katon Dawson’s bid to lead the national “Republican” party.

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